History2019-08-19T16:43:00-04:00

THE IMPORTANCE OF (LOCAL) HISTORY

The Perils of Parsimony, 1881 – A THANKSGIVING STORY

The following cautionary tale was published in the November 24, 1881 issue of the Hillsdale Harbinger.

“The Badgerleys coming here to spend Thanksgiving?” said Mrs. Nettingley. “Not if I know it.”

Mrs. Nettingley was a close-fisted and calculating matron, who lived in a handsome house in a stylish neighborhood in New York and was one of those who, as her maid-of-all-work expressed it, “would skin a flea to save the hide and tallow.” Mrs. Nettingley liked to make a show, but she had a deep-rooted aversion to […]

By |November 21st, 2019|History|

Don’t Have a Cow

Over the years, a number of celebrities have lived in or visited Hillsdale. Some were not famous when they lived here but achieved celeb status elsewhere. But Hillsdale was always “home.” A case in point was Hudson River School painter John Bunyan Bristol, who was born in Hillsdale but achieved prominence in New York City. Even after he achieved worldwide recognition, he still spent summers at the Mt. Washington House. Some believe that one of Hillsdale’s celebrities was Elsie the Cow, the famous mascot and […]

By |November 11th, 2019|History|

The Writing Life – James Agee in Hillsdale – Part 2

Agee left Fortune to join Time magazine as book reviewer and film critic. In 1942 he moved to The Nation where his film criticism found a growing circle of intellectual admirers, including W.H. Auden, who wrote “In my opinion, [Agee’s] column is the most remarkable regular event in American journalism today.” As a film reviewer, he brought a level of perceptiveness and curiosity to the analysis of cinema in the 1940s that championed everything from mainstream Hollywood hits to B horror movies to slapstick comedy […]

By |October 10th, 2019|History|

The Writing Life – James Agee in Hillsdale – Part 1

James Agee was a commanding literary voice in mid-20th-century America: an extraordinarily versatile writer who in his lifetime won acclaim as a novelist, poet, and screenwriter. He is buried on a farm in Hillsdale.

That’s not big news. But we’ve also been told for years that he never actually lived in Hillsdale.  That seemed odd.  Why would a person who never lived in Hillsdale decide to be buried here?

We set out to see if we could verify that one way or another.

James Rufus Agee was born […]

By |October 7th, 2019|History|

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